Team spirit

Why are we in these creative industries? For me the pleasure in using my mind to creatively solve problems, to be part of a rich visual environment, to work with colleagues to bring a production to the public, gives a pride that lasts for years.

Everything we do is to create the work that talks about our world, whether it is the Cheltenham’s racing results, an opera production in Scotland, a costume drama for film or television or an educational video for a local council.

The job can be very hard and the hours dangerously long at times but when it goes right the satisfaction is immense.

We believe in the power of the media to reflect our world and at times to improve it.

Or maybe just give us some great moments of enjoyment. I hear a pride among our members when they talk of the work they do.

We are having to work harder and harder to produce the same results. The way we can keep this an industry we want to work in is by coming together with our colleagues across the country to campaign and support each other.

It is what unions do, but it can only be done by our members being active.

“This will be a slow burner as these new entrants are some of the most vulnerable in the industry”

And we are.

Union representatives from over 30 regional theatres came to a strategy session in head office to discuss the future as funding cuts are threatening their future.

The discussions were open, exploring how we can support each other in our local battles and how the national can support the regional.

At the end of the meeting it was clear that local theatres are closing and will close if funding cuts continue and the economic value that the arts bring to a community will be lost.

BECTU is calling for arts funding to be a statutory obligation of local councils
rather than an optional extra, and for the thriving West End to support regional productions.

The dispute in the BBC is about a working environment that is trying to achieve the same output as it did three years ago but with a 20% cut in funding and the loss of 1342 posts. These job losses were the result of Year One’s cuts.

Year Two’s cuts are just being announced and members will be expected to carry the workload for more of their colleagues.

We all know that when you are desperately trying to get a job done with fewer resources and less time is when bullying, harassment and stress increase. Job satisfaction can go out the window as all we are doing is scrabbling to get
something done.

BBC management must address the issue of workloads now by conducting a fair and transparent review and they must do this not in an environment where jobs are disappearing even before the review of needs has happened.

Our members went on strike and worked to rule for 12 hours to make their point.

Feature film work in the London area has been very active and our members have been busy on a number of high-end productions.

This hasn’t stopped our hair and make-up members from fighting for fairer working hours and conditions.

London Production Division‘s writers, producers and directors have been building a campaign about the working conditions on TV factuals, especially for the trainee and entry grades.

This will be a slow burner as these new entrants are some of the most vulnerable in the industry.

This is what BECTU is. It is you and your friends and colleagues trying to make a better working environment for all of us.

The more members we can recruit and get involved, the greater chance we have of working in the industry that gives us that pride and satisfaction.

Categories: Arts, BECTU, Broadcasting, Film, Theatre

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Picture of Christine Bond